"I loved reading about a time / period / place I know nothing about: 1930s/40s Russia and the siege of Leningrad. It was a truly harrowing moment in history.
Unfortunately, that was only about 2/5 of the book. The rest was a modern story framework setup to allow the telling of the other story. It felt weak and unnecessary. I'd rather have focused in on the historical story, even if it was super grim, than be dragged along with modern characters I never came to care for."